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A Pastor’s Reflections: Always Pack Heat

May 14, 2013


I don’t know why, but the phrase, “Packing heat,” is one of my all-time favorites. Perhaps in our politically correct age making such an admission might invite scorn, but I don’t have violence in mind. I just like the idea that when a person is legally allowed to carry a concealed weapon it’s described as “packing heat.” Another similar expression is, “To come in heavy.” It’s a saying from mob lingo, which means that a person is armed and ready for any circumstance.

Well, my advice to pastors and those who are seeking the ministry is, always pack heat. Always be ready to come in heavy. What do I mean by this? No, I don’t mean that pastors should be armed in the pulpit. Rather, I’m saying that as a pastor, you should always be ready to preach the Word! Why should pastors always be ready to preach the Word? Well, they should certainly be ready to preach on Sundays—this is, after all, the main focus of their calling. But there are plenty of other occasions that arise where a minister may be called upon to preach at a moment’s notice. Don’t be caught unprepared.

For example, you should always have a funeral sermon ready to go. You can certainly fill in some of the details, but be ready a moment’s notice. Sometimes you can prepare for a person’s death because of a long-term illness, but at other times death will arrive without notice and take people by surprise. If you wait until that moment to write a funeral sermon, you’ll be hard-pressed. Instead of being able to devote time to ministering to the people who have suffered loss by your personal presence, you’ll be stuck trying to write a funeral message.

If you ever go on vacation or a trip, tuck a sermon away in your briefcase (maybe even two) and be prepared. Sure, you might not be asked to preach, but I know of a number of cases where ministers on vacations have been approached on Sunday morning to preach a message because they have been identified as a minister! If you find a sermon that you feel really good about, and delivered well, then make a mental note of it and keep a spare copy, or these days, upload it to your cloud so you have easy access to it.

In a word, a good preacher will always be prepared, rain or shine, sleet or snow, day or night to bring the Word of God to bear upon his people. Therefore, always pack heat!